Just a minute……….
Good Friday brings us face to face with the death of Jesus. The loss of a loved one is something that most of us have had to cope with – and however old we are, and however old they were, it is never easy. Easter Sunday comes, with cries of Alleluia! and He is Risen! How hard this is to fully understand and believe. How can someone so obviously dead appear full of life just days later. Maybe we learn something important when we read about Mary Magdalene trying to embrace Him in the garden – “Do not touch me…,” he said. His life was certainly real, but it was changed, transformed, different. Jesus was definitely somehow physical after His resurrection; after all he told Thomas to put his finger into His wounds, and also broke bread at a supper, and made a BBQ on the beach.
If we think back to Christmas and the most wonderful lesson from John’s Gospel we learn that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. Physicality, being human, being real, is very important. It was for Jesus’ disciples. It was for those He ministered to, it should be for you and me. We exist in this world as a soul within a physical body; it is through the physical body that we know one another and encounter each other’s soul; it is through the physical body that we experience the beauty and joy of the created world. Our bodies are good – even though they do get creaky and sometimes let us down.
For you and me, the resurrection will be not only of our soul but of our body too; somehow God will raise us to new life, but in a transformed way, hopefully even lovelier than we are now.(!) Easter shows us that this is possible, and that for all of us is something very special to look forward to. We shall encounter once again all those whom we love in a form that we can recognise. So this makes sense of a line in a hymn which says “Christ is risen, we are risen” and I think that is really worth shouting “Alleluia!” about.